Academy status will help Exeter school build on strengths
AN Exeter primary school has revealed it will become an academy, after the move was approved by its governing body.
St Michael's Primary School in Heavitree will be the first to be granted academy status as part of the newly-formed Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust in Exeter, called St Christopher's.
The trust will work with the school's governing body and school leaders, ensuring that the children will receive the best possible educational provision.
Headteacher Gill Kendrick said: "The decision will firmly benefit the children's education, will build on our strengths and create a school which equips our children for the challenges of the 21st century."
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Academy status will give the school greater autonomy from Devon County Council, allowing it to set its own pay and conditions for staff, and to change the lengths of terms and school days.
Mrs Kendrick added: "The ethos of the St Christopher's Multi-Academy Trust is one of compassion and service and we are very pleased to have been asked to be the first to join.
"It will work with governing bodies and school leaders to ensure that children and young people receive the best educational provision, while the adults employed to serve them are valued and challenged to be the best they can be."
The decision has received praise from the Bishop of Exeter, Rt Revd Michael Langrish.
He said: "I am delighted that St Michael's, a school with a wonderful, thriving Christian ethos, is set to be the first academy with our new St Christopher's Multi-Academy Trust.
"This trust is dedicated to supporting our primary schools, through working with parents, governors and staff, to become beacons of high standards, good practice and service to the community."
Parents are being given the opportunity to have their say on the decision and the way in which they feel the school should be run as an academy.
Mrs Kendrick said: "It is very much our intention that the parent body will have a voice in the future of the school and we hope that we will develop even closer relationships."
Steps are now being taken with the Department of Education to formalise the decision to grant academy status from September 2013.
The school hopes the title will help it on the way to becoming an outstanding school by 2015.